(and see how many ‘anti’ things you can identify in the slides)
What are your #antimetrics — things which, simply measuring them, make things worse?
We’ve all seen outspoken people twist themselves into their masks because of the social media metrics, fame, and infamy that unpleasant talking points bring them.
We’ve seen #management solemnly accept their penance for fiddling the emissions figures or setting sales metrics which can only be met by exploitative and abusive practices — all the while still using a ‘nine box model’ to categorise people in assessments every year.
And I’ve talked before about measuring partial, non-outcome measures in business.
‘Take what you want, says the Lord, only pay the price’ — you can optimise for anything, if nothing else matters.
But this is wider — not just ‘what are you optimising at ALL costs’ but ‘what are you paying attention to, where the act of paying attention is damaging’?
The ‘sad loner’, whose funeral is attended by hundreds of friends whose lives have been touched and changed by their engagement.
All those who’ve broken down by trying to meet social expectations, perform as expected at work, or achieve the outlandish ‘morning schedule of billionaires’.
For me, it’s things like
> measuring hours of sleep — to measure at all is a sign I resent the lifestyle I’ve set for myself, and *that’s* the thing to pay attention to
> social media views and followers — kind of useful; when my LinkedIn average views drop from 9,000 to 2,500, it means *something* — but not something to focus on optimising
> ‘keeping up with things’ — a fool’s errand, especially with regard to the news
I got this concept from an episode of the wonderful The Seen and the Unseen podcast with Amit Varma — his guest, Samarth Bansal.
Ironically, that episode is partly about ‘living the examined life’ — a concept I am usually put off because of its associations with ‘optimising metrics’.
But actually, this is about examining things more deeply than just what can be measured, and trying to switch off the monitors for the things which should not be monitored.
Which are yours?
(And which anti-things can you identify in the slides?)